The San Diego Padres find themselves in a precarious position as they inch closer to two major indicator-points in their season; their struggle to stay competitive and the upcoming trade deadline.
Over the last month-or-so, the San Diego Padres have been playing well on both sides of the chalk. As the MLB trade deadline draws near, the Friars are leaving themselves with a curious dilemma.
They can move forward with their eyes focused on the dream of contention this season and forego the trove of returns they’d receive by trading off some valuable veterans. Or, they could move the guys who are drawing interest like Brad Hand, Tyson Ross, as well as some of the team’s other relievers and reap the benefits.
There are even a position player or two that Preller & Co. are willing to part with (read: Freddy Galvis for the right price or possibly an extra outfielder) if the organization feels that it’s in the best interest of the future of the franchise.
The Padres minor-league system is chock-full of blue-chip prospects, but there’s always a healthy need for more. As guys graduate into the majors, there will be holes to fill. Wouldn’t you want to plug those holes up with more solid prospects? Of course. But at what cost?
The Friars could realistically trade Tyson Ross, Brad Hand, and another reliever and stay competitive. So why not just bite the bullet and look ahead to the future? Because that would leave a bad taste in the fans’ mouths.
If this team is good enough to compete in a less-than-enthralling NL West, why break them up just at the time they’re really coming together? I’ll explain that.
Friars’ offense is clicking
Over the last month, the Padres’ offense (which will by all accounts be staying intact through the trade deadline) has been highlighted by the play of Eric Hosmer (.327/.375/.500 in 104 at-bats with four homers, seventeen RBI, and six doubles).
Jose Pirela has continued to act as a catalyst for the Friars, even if he’s seemed to forget how to hit home runs. He could be another player who’s moved before the deadline, simply for the value his consistent play in the field and at the plate.
A.J. Ellis is slashing .345/.406/.483 in his last 29 at-bats. His play as of late figures to keep him around when Austin Hedges returns, so there should be some decent production coming out of the catcher’s spot after everything is all said-and-done after July 31.
Hunter Renfroe, who I’m predicting won’t be traded but who knows, has been on fire. He’s hitting .300/.378/.500 since returning and has played very well in the outfield. Manuel Margot is back in a groove, hitting .297/.384/.422 over his last 23 games, and Christian Villanueva has been a revelation.
More from Friars on Base
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
These aren’t even the Padres’ “core” players. These are simply the guys who have been performing more-than-adequately and figure to be here after the trade deadline.
Losing Tyson Ross would be a damaging blow to the team’s chances of staying relevant, but that’s not to say that other guys (presumably the younger Friars) won’t step up in his still-hypothetical absence.
Padres’ bullpen cupboard could be left bare
The Friars bullpen has been outstanding all year. The front-end of the rotation has been great. And the offense has come around in a very big way.
Losing important pieces would surely change the landscape, but the hopes of improving the San Diego Padres in the future is a worthy cause to sacrifice for.
There’s plenty of talent here now and will still be here after July 31. Let’s not jump to conclusions if AJ Preller does indeed shake things up. The Friars have surprised us already this season. Who’s to say they won’t do it again?